Ramadhan Mubarak

 

Wow it feels like only yesterday I was sat here typing about the advent of Ramadhan 2016 and here we find ourselves again, at the dawn of another Holy Month, after another blessed year.

I say a blessed year as I know I am amongst the some of most fortunate in this world, but it does feel like the last 12 months have been a complete roller coaster when it comes to issues and chaos happening elsewhere. After Monday’s attack in Manchester, the drowning of yet more fleeing refugees in the Meditarranean yesterday… it’s clear there is so much more work we all need to do to contribute to peace for human kind.

Last year, I wrote about what Ramadhan is, trying to address many of the questions that we Muslims get asked pretty much every year. This year, I wanted to talk about what Ramadhan means (well the way I was taught at least) and to perhaps highlight the more spiritual and character enhancing aspects of why we do what we do.

 

Why is it so important?

Ramadhan is considered the Holiest Month of the Islamic year because that was the month in which the Quran, our Holy Book, was revealed by God to who we Muslims believe is the last Prophet, the Prophet Muhammad (may peace and blessings be upon him).

 

twenty riyal note saudi arabia

The mountain on this Saudi Arabian bank note is called Jabal al Noor and is where the first lines of the Holy Book was revealed. Found this twenty riyal note when I was looking through my things, they don’t make them anymore!!

 

The Abrahamic faiths which came before Islam were Christianity and Judaism before that. Both Judiasm and Christianity incorporated fasting as parts of their religion too. The Jews have Yom Kippur and the Christians have Lent. Ramadhan for Muslims, is simply an extension of those and fasting in the Islamic faith is an act that is done solely for God.

So, for this reason, it is a highly significant month – the most significant, in fact.

 

Ramadhan-Quran-prayer

 

How does it apply to life today?

Well, Ramadhan is about complete abstinence during the hours of daylight. Not just abstinence from eating and drinking, but from cursing, from gossiping, from sexual relations, and indeed from engaging in anything that is considered negative such as anger, deceit, lying etc.

What that does is it forces the human spirit to look inwards at itself and it forces you to reflect. Though religions like Hinduism, Buddhism and Sikhism are not Abrahamic, they too also have concepts of fasting because fasting really does force you to detach from ego.

For me, the month really is a time for reflection. If you read my blog you’ll know I have been reflecting a lot this past year about the state of society and political situations, but this month is about focusing more on yourself and your actions.

 

reflection

 

In the UK and parts of Europe, Ramadhan has fallen during the longest days of the year, when the hours of daylight are upwards of 18-19 hours. You can probably appreciate how going from eating and drinking whenever you want to having one meal every 24 hours can really stop you in your tracks and force you to think about how fortunate we are to have lives that are relatively easy.

 

What exactly are we being grateful for?

The majority of us now live better than even Kings and Queens would have lived just 200 years ago, and this month forces us to appreciate all of the blessings which we are surrounded by.

It makes us think about all of the excess we’re privileged to on a daily basis, stuff we don’t even think about during the year. Simple things like being able to place a Dominos order online and have piping hot pizza delivered to your door minutes later. Whatever we need at any time, the chances are we can make a call, press a few buttons or simply get in our car and pick it up instantly with more and more places open till late or open 24 hours.

Appreciation for what we have is one of the biggest lessons that Ramadhan brings but sadly something most of us lose sight of when the month is over (me included!).

 

How does fasting help?

Imagine starving yourself all day, for 18 hours. Finally, the evening is here, bellies are rumbling, you are tired as you’ve been working all day and you’ve spent the last two hours of your day cooking for yourselves and your families, engaging in worship whenever you can.

Literally all you want to do, all you can think about, is when the heck is the minute hand on that clock going to land on the exact time so we can finally reach for that glass and date.

There are no words to describe the sensation you feel when you take that first sip of water or when you have that first bite of food you’ve been craving all day. And we only have to do this once a year.

You cannot help but think of people who are deprived of food on a daily basis. The act of iftar – of breaking ones fast at the end of a loooong day, can sometimes be a very emotional experience.

But Ramadhan is also all about family. Even if you have family members who do not usually observe their daily prayers, when the Holy Month arrives, you generally always fast together, you sit together, you eat together. You have all been doing the same thing all day – fasting, so you’re pretty much experiencing the same emotional roller-coaster of Ramadan together (in’t that nice?).

 

Is it safe to fast for such long hours?

One question that most of us are asked every year, surely fasting for all that time cannot be healthy for you. Well actually, many studies over the last few decades have shown that fasting is a fantastic way of purging the body.

Ramadhan aside, one of the practices of our Prophet Muhammed (may peace and blessing be upon him) was to fast on a Monday and Thursday. This is something that has been done as a voluntary act by Muslims for hundreds of years.

And today, we have things like the 5:2 diet where you eat normally 5 times a week, and fast for 2. The reason? Health and weight control. So fasting is actually a very, very good thing for the body, as well as the soul.

One thing I should also point out, is that there are very strict rules on NOT fasting if you do suffer from health issues which can put your body in further danger. Looking after our health is an important part of being a muslim, and if fasting will jeopardise that in any way, you are expected not to fast.

 

FYI – I’ll be publishing a post specifically on iftar, the moment we break our fast, over the next few days where you’ll have the opportunity to win an intu Trafford Centre gift card… watch this space!

 

As we are literally a day or so away from welcoming Ramadhan 2017, I wish everyone partaking an abundance of blessings, patience and good health.

May it be a rewarding month for us all.

Ramadhan Mubarak!

 

 

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These last few days have been hectic. Chaotic. Quite unbelievable. I’ve barely slept. Hardly focused. Every normal thought completely thrown out of the window. I always said I never want to be the type of person to give special treatment to attacks just because they are happening in the Western world, to ones that are close to home. After all, in my job in travel alerts, I see tragedies on a daily basis – most of which are usually much more horrific than anything that tends to happen in Europe.

BUT.

Mo quite rightly pointed out to me yesterday, that this is not the time to be looking for fairness, for answers. This is a time to respect those that have lost their lives and loved ones. And as this has happened in THIS city, OUR city, MY city I couldn’t not write something.

Manchester is a city that has adopted Mo and I (Mo for a lot longer) and one that we can’t see ourselves ever leaving.

I don’t want to go back over what has happened, I don’t want to become overcome with emotion (for once), I just want to let you know why I LOVE Manchester:

 

We throw some great parades,

and seriously fun parties too.

The banter is brilliant.

The architecture, old and new, is pretty fab.

We accept EVERYONE.

There is Diversity. Everywhere.

It’s a city with amazing history.

A city that stands up for whats right,

and makes the effort to show support

when something has gone wrong.

The hometown of brilliant creatives from all over the art world.

Game changers when it comes to music.

And even though I constantly complain about the traffic,

I secretly don’t mind it.

Our street art is awesome.

When we celebrate, we include everyone.

The food scene is as good as the Capital.

There’s always something to do whatever your budget.

Our symbol is a bee as we’re a city built on hard work

 and community spirit.

It’s not all about being for show,

we like to keep it real.

Most importantly of all,

the only thing that can make any city truly great,

is the people.

And we’re a f***ing good bunch!

 

Manchester bee stay strong

 

*** My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who is dealing with hardship and pain today.

And of course to everyone here in Manchester. ***

If you haven’t already seen this, watch it now! I am sharing the MEN video as they have been absolutely fantastic at reporting the situation.

 

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24hrs in Dusseldorf

 

Our options: spend hundreds of pounds on a concert ticket at Wembley, OR spend less than a hundred to spend a day in Dusseldorf and see the exact same concert.

Well as you can imagine, it was a no brainer.

We didn’t think too much into it, we just booked a flight in and out, reserved our arena seats and boom we were sorted. We figured anything else we came across on that trip would just be an added bonus.

Fast forward a few months and it was days before we were meant to depart and we decided it was time to see what there was to do for 12 hours.

Turns out there’s not loooads to do. Let me start again, there are things to do, but not a lot of free things to do. Not that we could find anyway. Everyone I knew who had visited had only been as part of a business stop over. So no one had any decent recommendations. Google was happy to announce that the airport viewing park was number 11 on the highlights of things to do in Dusseldorf. Didn’t really inspire much confidence.

After an intense security check at the airport (a kind of check that I found incredibly violating and questionable) we decided to discuss our days plans over breakfast.

The plan: was to not have a plan.

We landed early morning into Dusseldorf Airport and found ourselves, by chance, on TripAdvisor’s 20th most popular attraction, the Sky Train. It was actually pretty cool! More cities should have these air suspended tram systems. Felt like we were on an episode of the Jetsons.

After a few dramas trying to get train tickets at the station, swiftly moving away from the abandoned suitcase that had appeared beside us, we jumped on the first train into the city, straight to central station.

We wandered the streets, headed to Rheinuferpromenade, passing beautiful buildings old and new. We sauntered into a few quirky shops and explored a church along the way, one with an interesting amalgamation of traditional and contemporary design features.

 

 

Not long after, it was time for lunch and so far our options weren’t looking great.

Halal-wise, we could’ve indulged in kebabs and donners as they seemed to be everywhere. But all we wanted was something small and something ‘local’ (preferably not fried). Menu after menu it became clear that sausage played a big part of what was on offer (quelle surprise), with not many appetising vegetarian options. Perhaps just a little bit of research would have been useful.

We passed a Turkish restaurant and the friendly owner somehow managed to coax us in, charming us with the promise of suitable meat-free options. Turns out we had two – cheese ciabatta or cheese and tomato ciabatta.

 

 

Despite the overwhelming variety, we decided they actually weren’t bad options so we didn’t bother re-robing and stayed put, taking some time out from the slight bit of rain we had just escaped from.

I had obviously slept on the flight over, so I had been dying to find a spot for us to rest and to freshen up. But of course we had chosen a café with the smallest toilet in the world. I entered top speed mode, changed my top, brushed my hair and was nearly done with brushing my teeth when a smart dressed diner entered and caught me mid spit.

One of my less classier moments. Luckily she didn’t look at me in disgust and definitely saw the funny side. Turns out she was from Saudi Arabia and it was such a surreal experience to reminisce about my former home with a complete stranger in a dingy bathroom whilst she applied her expensive looking ruby red lippy and I continued to cover myself in deodorant and perfume.

Well-fed, we set off once again on our adventure only to stumble upon a food market. Go figure.

Tip number one: Perhaps take time to ask locals for food recommendations when you are in a new area. Instead of settling for the first person to invite you in.

We continued on to the riverside, aiming to check out TripAdvisor’s 4th most popular attraction, the Rhine Tower. A large happy french-fry-shaped figurine caught the corner of our eye.

It was the Chip Man.

We were full, but not that full. And this was the second one we had come across so it almost felt rude not to. This place literally served nothing BUT chips. Not hand made ones either, just standard frozen chips with a heap of weird and wonderful toppings. The guys behind the counter were dying to practice their English skills, one of them wanting to know if he was good enough to brave the move to the UK (Not sure if he was aware we have a Brexit situation going on but didn’t seem the right time to break it to him).

 

 

Two fresh (from frozen) chip trays later and we were off walking along the promenade, wind in our hair, headed towards the tower. Just another beautiful afternoon in Blackpool sorry Dusseldorf (it really did feel like we were having chips on the promenade at Blackpool though!?). By this point the sun decided to come out basking the shore line in sunshine and warmth, perfect timing for our stroll across the river bank.

Rhine tower, 240.5 metres concrete site towering above the city. For the first time ever on a city break we didn’t have to queue for an attraction. Couple of euros got us a ticket straight to the top in the super sonic lift.

 

 

The 360 degree observation deck and café area were pretty impressive. Again, it was refreshing not to be at a sightseeing stop that was swarming with tourists. We found ourselves a table to relax at and enjoyed a tea and pretzel break, whilst watching the world pass by below.

 

 

Back down to the bustling streets below, we casually strolled towards the far side of town where the arena was, stopping only for what was supposed to be a quick browse around Habitat, a shop we don’t have in the UK anymore but one which was always a firm favourite of mine. As we were about to leave the store, a comfy sofa in the window called out to us. Enticed by the soft fabric we decided to test it out and instantly sunk into it’s fluffiness.

What started as a quick test of a good looking couch ended in being approached an hour later by a shop assistant whether we actually required any help mid-way through our heavy conversation about politics. We casually assured her we were fine and then sprinted out of there as fast as we could.

 

 

Time had ticked on and we realised we didn’t have long to find a quick dinner snack and get ourselves over to the ISS arena. So we picked up the pace as we walked towards the North of the city.

An hour of walking and we weren’t going as fast as we needed to. We decided to settle for a kebab shop on route, after which we would hop on a tram or some other mode of transport to rush us down to catch the start of the show.

Wasn’t as great a dinner as we would have liked but it was fast, cheap and we were definitely full. My sister in particular was full from eating a large amount of ‘not-what-I-ordered’ onions that had been added to her bread dish.

Tip number two: Don’t just agree to have all the added extras in a restaurant just because you’re too scared to say no. It won’t end well.

Quick tram ride to Heinrichstraße and there it was, a bus labelled ‘Dusseldorf ISS Dome’. We ran at full speed to catch it, only to realise the driver wasn’t planning on going anywhere anytime soon as he pulled on his cigarette, relaxed and nonchalant.

Finally we were there, the ISS arena and like every other concert venue it was time for bag search.

Tip number three: If you are travelling to a concert abroad and that is the sole purpose of your trip don’t bother taking your DSLR.

Of course my DSLR camera was not allowed inside the venue and I had to leave it at the entrance with the security team. It was placed in a plastic bag, and stored in a crate until the end of the show. Not the most secure set up – but I should stress it was there waiting for me just as I left it when we returned at the end of the night.

 

 

The fun well and truly started when it was time to head home. In all our wisdom, we decided booking a hotel room was a waste as we were catching an early flight out the next day so our next stop that evening was to go straight back to the airport where we would be camping out for the night.

Finding a train station was proving a fair challenge, especially as G had managed to get us rejected from the only bus around by asking for the airport rather than the train station resulting in the driver assuring us that he couldn’t help and we should carry on. A group on foot headed to their parked car kindly led us halfway down and then left us to navigate the dark Dusseldorf streets on our own.

We found the tram but had no idea where it was going and no one else was really able to help either, mainly because their English was limited and our German was unfortunately non existent.

Tip number four: Even if you are only visiting for a short time, learn or familiarise yourself with some key phrases or download a translation app.

Just before my sister was about to throw herself into her best impression of a choo-choo train, an English speaker piped up with instructions to help us continue our journey.

We boarded the tram, which was basically an extension of the concert, revellers singing and dancing in perfect Spanish, pretty ironic considering we were in Germany.

fifteen minutes and one spilt drink on my jacket later, and we were back at Dusseldorf Airport.

No overnight lounges, just the one coffee shop and we had just over five hours to kill.

It was a long, but fun-filled night.

 

 

I use the word fun-filled loosely of course… trying to sleep whilst cleaning machines and hoovers sound off at full volume and uncomfortable armrests are jabbing into your sides is not easy even for me, the self-proclaimed can-sleep-through-anything sleeper.

Tip number five: Do not forget to take a scarf if you’re planning on camping out like we did. Or a travel blanket like the one Mo and I bought for our Brazil trip (why I didn’t think to take it this time is beyond me)

We woke to the smell of fresh bread, coffees and the buzz of everyday hustle and bustle in an airport. Flight boards started filling up, our destination London Heathrow making the list, and just like that it was time to board that plane again.

Throughout the day my sister had voiced her appreciation for this City, the best cuisine shes ever had, the best long boats shes ever seen, the best views she’s ever seen…

G and I aren’t quite sure what she saw that we didn’t, but what we did all agree on, was that it was definitely one of our most quirkiest trips to date.

 

Have you been to Dusseldorf? Slept overnight at an airport?

 

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mumu steakhouse preston

 

Travelling all the way to Preston on a weeknight is not really my idea of a fun evening, however I had been hankering for a good steak for some time and if I had to go all the way to Preston to get it than so be it. Worth the risk I thought. Not only that, but it had been some time since my dad and I had indulged in an FD day (Father-daughter) and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to spend an evening together, seeing as I’ve been so busy over the last few months.

The minute the clock ticked 5, I was off straight onto the motorway and within the hour I was back amongst the familiar landscapes of Lancashire, ready to tackle an evening at Mumu steakhouse.

We walked in, earlier than our booking, but luckily the restaurant was empty so we were shown straight to our table. Table of choice as it happens, as there was no one else to compete with. It’s always a bit unnerving to enter a restaurant and be the only ones there, but I knew it wasn’t quite dinner time yet and it wasn’t long before the crowds started piling in.

The first thing you’ll notice is although there is good looking bar to the right as you enter, not a drop of booze is visible. Everything here is non alcoholic, juices, milkshakes and a selection of mocktails for those wanting something a tad more interesting. All the meat here is halal and it’s good to know that it’s also locally sourced too.

The menu has a great selection – but not too much. A lot of similar restaurants tend to go OTT with their menu and it really dilutes the quality of the dishes. The menu clearly explained the different steak cuts, a big help for anyone unsure (my dad still felt the need to explain it to me anyway).

 

 

After giving our drinks order, I asked our waiter, Mani, for his recommendations. The burger, rib-eye steak and chicken wings were his top tips. Funnily enough, that was pretty much what I had in mind anyway, I tweaked my order ever so slightly to correspond with the sauces he recommended.

Our starter, chicken wings in buffalo sauce landed, I immediately gasped at the portion size. Wow there were six wings on our tray, all a pretty decent size. Best plan of action was going to be to taste a few and take the rest home. We had both ordered a big main to get through so we had to be sensible.

Turns out, it just wasn’t possible. The moment I sunk my teeth into that first piece of chicken, I was hooked. That buffalo slightly spicy sauce was delicious. Both of us just didn’t stop. My dad’s not one for a large appetite and he’s not usually a big fan of chicken either, but this starter really went down a treat. It was only a starter, but I would certainly return just for this, bring the rest of the family too.

 

 

Needless to say, we finished the lot. As much as I love Mo, there was no way any of that chicken was making it home that night. Mani popped up almost on cue with a warm bowl of lemon water as we obviously hadn’t even bothered with the niceties of cutlery, we’d decided to go traditional and picked our wings apart by hand. the cleansing bowl meant we could simply remain where we were and await our next dish without having to get up and wash our hands.

Our energy levels lifted a notch, as we excitedly waited for our mains. The starter was impressive and we hoped it bode well for the what was to follow. Pretty soon we were lost in our usual weird and wonderful conversations, my dad educating me on the importance of good quality socks (bizarre I know, but my dad assures me it is an important topic).

Another great thing about this restaurant, the open plan kitchen, visible as soon as you walk in. It was so clean! When you’re dealing with meat, grills, sticky sauces… it was nice to see such a clear kitchen workspace. and there were no issues with intense smells or smoke (very unlike how it would have been had I been cooking in my own kitchen). The standard of the whole restaurant was very impressive. The music wasn’t blaring, allowing us to have this very serious ‘socks’ conversation without having to shout over background noise.

Just as my dad was getting into the nitty gritty details of how he had scoped out the appointed sock-maker for the Queen in his quest for perfect pair of socks, I was saved by the arrival of our hefty mains.

I had chosen the famous homemade 6oz burger with smoked cheese and shoe string fried onions and portion of sweet potato fries. My dad, the 11oz rib-eye with secret Mumu sauce and hand cut fries.

 

 

Ultimate test, was it how we requested? Yes it was! Both were medium rare, perfect. You know what, when it comes to halal steak restaurants, getting the meat exactly how you ask is pretty much most of the battle. It was refreshing to finally have somewhere that got it just right first time.

With the burger, a handmade patty is always going to win my heart, this one was beautifully topped with caramelised string onions and the salsa was a fab addition. There was a special offer that month, free milkshake with every burger meal and it made for a great accompaniment.

Alas we were faced once again with the dilemma that finishing our mains would result in us being full to the brim and wouldn’t allow any room for dessert. It was a risk we decided to take. There was no way we were about to waste any of this quality meat. Dessert would simply have to wait for our next visit.

I’ve never been very complimentary to halal steak houses, everything is usually quite samey-samey. Mumu have done a fantastic job, choosing a few dishes and putting their efforts into doing them well. I’ve read further reviews since then which actually compliment the fish dishes as well as the meat ones, which is good to know.

I’ll be honest, there was a chance this experience could have gone terribly wrong as my dad is probably one of the fussiest eaters I know (not an exaggeration, dad you know its true!) but it was such a relief to see we both left behind empty plates. My dads only criticism, he could’ve done with some more mushrooms.

Mumu steakhouse was definitely the perfect venue for an overdue FD day, met all dads criteria: clean, well cooked meat and we had no other distractions.

Definitely worth the 60 mile round trip.

 

 

*** Big thanks to Mumu Steakhouse for inviting us down that evening, and to Mani and Matthew for providing us great service that night. Thanks to my dad for joining me after work and for providing me with some thought-provoking conversation 😉 As always all opinions and photographs on here are my own. The only editing once again has been brightness (it was quite dark in the restaurant). My dad and I very much look forward to returning with the rest of the family!! ***

 

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Viking Stationery ArtyParty

 

I know you’re probably thinking I’m mad. A stationery party? Seriously?

Yup seriously, last Saturday I went to an arty party because arts and crafts events are the best!

As a child some of my earliest memories are of my mum taking my sister and I to local souqs in Saudi Arabia (we lived out there) where she would shop for gifts for the children at the school she taught at. The only thing I remember about the place is how AMAZING the stationery was. I’m pretty sure that’s where my obsession stems from. My sister and I have had a love for writing and desk accessories ever since.

I have many passions in life, art, travel, writing, all of which I can showcase on the blog. For the last year I have regularly written notes to myself to try and include some form of craft post, it’s something I absolutely love doing and I just wish I had more time to indulge in it.

When I started having my aversion to watching television, I took up crochet as a way to give myself something to do whilst I was sat with Mo and he was catching up on his programs. Kept me busy, very addictive and it meant I didn’t have to sit bored whilst the TV rattled on.

Since then my spare time has become less and less frequent and I do really value any time I can dedicate to arts and crafts. When you’re an adult there are so few opportunities to unleash your creativity if you happen to be stuck in the corporate world so an arty party hosted by Viking was definitely a welcome breath of fresh air.

 

Venue

The venue for the day was the exquisite King Street Townhouse hotel, the only one in Manchester to boast a rooftop pool. Boutique in style, kitschy-but-modern interiors, it was the perfect place to host a bunch of bloggers.

The sun was beaming on Saturday, almost as if it had been scheduled to do so, as our craft party was being held in the 6th floor event room, with outdoor terrace. An outdoor terrace with views looking out over the city, what a location.

 

 

Activities

The Viking team were joined by some wonderful helpers: Chloe and Stacey from the crafty hen and the lovely Joyce from Artsynibs. Three separate crafting stations had been set up: Notebook customisation, block printing and calligraphy.

We separated into groups and tried our hand at each one, getting stuck in the minute we sat down. We stopped only for lunch and mini tea breaks in between activities and I think I picked up my phone only a handful of times that day, my camera even less.

 

 

One of my main takeaways was how accommodating the Viking team were. I’ve been to many blogger events and this one had been so well thought out. Viking really focused on bloggers getting stuck into the activity at hand, just enjoying the moment with a photographer floating around taking snaps – saving us the hassle in feeling pressured to take our own. What a genius idea. And highly necessary as the moment I started the day on notebook customisation my focus was very much on my creation and nothing else in the world mattered!

 

 

I’m pretty chuffed with my little take aways, the file organiser and notebook are things I always need and the whole personalisation process inspired me to think a bit more on my home office and how I can create a spectacular working space, using simple accessories and jazzing them up. (I sense a Pinterest spree on its way).

 

 

Calligraphy wasn’t really my strongest skill, but as a typography nut I loved it anyway. I’ve met Joyce a few times before at various events and it’s always lovely to catch up with her, and whenever I get the opportunity to watch her in action, its quite mesmerising!! We were treated to not only an introductory lesson but also a newly released calligraphy set, which I am determined to practice at home with.

 

 

And of course not only was I able to create some fun take home accessories, but I got to spend an afternoon with a collection of pretty fab bloggers too! I finally got to meet the wonderful Maggie whose journey I have been following as she travelled through Asia recently, worth checking out trust me! I also met Holly, the lady behind WeBlogMcr, very excited to get networking with her in the near future. And of course there were many others, I’ll list them all at the end if you fancy some new blogs to read.

The whole day made me realise all that talk I posted about recently on wanting to introduce a digital detox really needs to be something I take seriously now. Having an afternoon where my mind was focused on anything but a screen, was so therapeutic. Even though it was a busy afternoon I felt completely relaxed (I think the sunshine helped!)

Viking were sure to give us a goody bag to take away too, luckily mine had lots of gold inspired stationery, perfect as I can use it to finish off my notebook 🙂

Fabulously fun inspirational day, at a stunning city centre location.

Can’t wait to get my craft back on.

 

 

*** Huge thanks to Viking for organising a wonderful bloggers event . All images used on this particular post are my own, with no editing apart from a couple have had brightness adjusted as I was using my c*** phone. ***

 

Some lovely bloggers I met who are definitely worth checking out:

 

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